Mirelys Mella

“Fredesvinda”, 2022

Oil, wire, and textile on canvas
22 x 28 inches

“Leli”, 2021

Oil, wire, lace, and pearl on canvas
24 x 30 inches

“Padres las Casas”, 2022

Image transfer, seashell, and dried beans on stretched fabric
18 x 24 inches

“Prendas”, 2022

Hot glue, oil, acrylic, and wire on canvas
11 x 14 inches

“Velas”, 2022

Candle wax on canvas
11 x 14 inches

“Palomas”, 2021

Oil and pigeon feather on canvas
16 x 20 inches

Artist Statement

Questions of life before I was born, personal family archives, a dying family tree or lack
thereof, and coming from a heavily female-influenced family are themes that I am constantly
grappling with in this work. The lingering feeling of loss and longing, fading childhood
memories, and café con pan with my grandmother are the feelings that fuel my creation of the
work and help me process grief after losing two influential women in my life, my grandmother
and my aunt. My work is centered around the experience of growing up in a Dominican
household, being a first-generation child of Dominican parents who immigrated to New York
City, and navigating the spaces between a place where my parents are from versus where I am
from. Through a series of portraits of women in my family, abstract, and representational pieces,
I draw intentionality through objects such as jewelry, beans, and seashells– things that hold
significance in my culture. The materials in which I express these subjects include nostalgic
materials such as 99-cent store stickers, glitter, and rhinestones that remind me of my youth, as
well as using family photos and home videos. In conversation with these materials, I use acrylic,
oil, and water paint to process my emotions of grief and loss through collage, painting, and
textile work. Constant motifs in this work include wire for earrings, stickers for buttons, and
fabrics for dimensionality.